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Remember when you first brought home your newborn? You were probably excited, worried, tired and hopeful all at once. Then after the first few days went by, you started having questions–is she getting enough milk, how do I swaddle, what do I do when she cries all the time…the list could go on forever.
You probably wished there was one simple book or manual that would just tell you what to do to be a “good parent.” Of course, we know there is no such best book for new parents. Each child is unique and it takes time for you to understand his/her individual preferences and patterns.
But this is where research can help us. Each child is unique but all children tend to follow a similar (within a range) developmental path. What is this range and how do I know if my child is developing in a typical fashion? What about all the details of parenting–food choices, sleeping arrangements, tantrums, etc. How do I know if how my child is behaving is in the range of “typical.”
These are parenting questions but they are also really research questions. Research has already addressed many of these and tons more. We parents, however, usually do not have good access to this research. It’s stockpiled away in academic journals in university libraries like a hidden treasure. This is why I started this blog–to bring that academic research out into the light of day where it can be used by parents. I want each parent to feel almost as prepared as a child psychologist when making decisions about their parenting.
That’s why I am super excited to introduce Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science. This book is a practical guide for parents but it is all based on academic research. Tracy is a professional journalist who has done all the hard work for us of compiling and translating that academic research into useful information we can use to answer our most-pressing parenting questions.
The Best Book for New Parents
The wonderful point that she makes in this book is that you can rely on your parental instinct AND use research too. It’s not an either-or proposition. We can’t all be actual child psychologists but we can do the next best thing–understand the research on a given topic and then put that together with our intuition to make the best choice for our unique child. This book is the perfect starting point on that path.
Don’t forget her book Zero to Five is coming out in paperback on March 13 so you can grab a copy to throw in your diaper bag to read in between play dates or at naptime.
Interview with Tracy Cutchlow
Question 2: I loved the part in the book where you discuss envisioning your baby all grown up and the types of qualities you’d want her to have. How do you think this helps parents in their parenting decisions?
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Download this free printable called, In Our Home to help remind yourself of the priorities around relationships and tecchnology in your family
Question 4: You mention the importance of make-believe and other play for kids’ learning. There is so much pressure nowadays for parents to put their kids in more academic-focused programs or preschools. How can we encourage parents to see play as a valuable part of learning?
Related reading: Top Questions to Ask on a Preschool Tour: A Parent’s Guide
Tracy Cutchlow is the author of the international bestseller Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science.
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